Pentecost 18a: Are You Talking About Us Jesus?

The Gospel reading for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost is Matthew 21:33-26.

 

Jesus has entered Jerusalem as the humble, Suffering Servant Messiah that he is. Some, who Jesus likens to infants and nursing babies, hail him rightly as the Son of David. But the elite religious teachers refuse to accept his authority.

 

Jesus then tells them a […]

Pentecost 17A What Does Authority Look Like?

The Gospel for the 17 Sunday after Pentecost is Matthew 21:23-32

“By what authority do you do these things, Jesus?”

 

Behind the current battle about “fake news,” and whom to believe—scientists or politicians, is an existential question about the nature of true authority.

There is a great difference between authority and authoritarianism. Matthew tells us about a confrontation […]

Pentecost 15a: Distanced, Different, But Not Divided

The Second Reading for this Sunday is Romans 14:1-12

 

It contains words such as ideas:

Welcome, and do not judge others who have different convictions, and live differently than you.
Leave the judging to God, who is, after all, merciful and capable of helping the fallen get up and stand.
Ultimately, all differences are superseded by Oneness: the one […]

Like Goliath, They'll Be Conquered

Depicted here, on the high utility post in front of our farm, is a scene that we see often: The tiny takes on the mighty.

If you look close you will see a tiny red-winged blackbird sitting on top of a formidable red-tailed hawk. At other times we will see all sorts of little birds harassing […]

Pentecost 10: Little Faith, Big Job, Big God

The Gospel Reading for this, the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, is Matthew 14:2-33

 

Jesus comes to the boat of the disciples in spite of battering waves. He walks on the waves. Peter hopes to do the same. Jesus says, “Come.” Peter tries, but the wind and his fear cause him to sink, and he calls out […]

Pentecost 9: The Meal That Satisfies

We long to return to restaurants and bars; but what is it that we are searching for? It is now most vital that we answer that question quickly for ourselves since pre-mature and thoughtless gathering without masks and distancing and sanitizing, is surely inviting the plague to return with a vengeance.

 

Yet, we need to break […]

Celebrating an Honorable and Vital Nation

As I transitioned from high school to college I had a burning desire to enter into politics. My patriotism burned hot.

 

On the wall of my bedroom were hung two replicas of paintings that I had paid a good portion of my meager income as a bag boy to have framed: John Trumbull’s famous depiction of […]

Pentecost 5 Racist? Who me?

The second reading for the Fifth Sunday of Pentecost is Romans 7.15-25a

 

 

When I hear people of color today cry out against systemic racism, I want to reply, “I’m not racist.” I want to object that this country has come so far from the days of slavery and the sins of the Confederacy, that surely we […]

Pentecost 2: Sheep into the Midst of Wolves

Gospel for Proper 6 (Pentecost 2) Series A

Matthew 9:35–10:8 (10:9–23)

 

This is the year of Matthew in the Revised Common Lectionary. But this is the Sunday we get our first real introduction to what it means to be Christ-followers—what it means to be a genuine part of the church.

 

And it isn’t pretty! And it is not […]

Pentecost, the Spirit, and the Murder of George Floyd

This coming Sunday is Pentecost. One possible First Reading is Numbers 11.24-30 which relates the one-time, special, but official outpouring of the Spirit of God on a select group of elders of the Hebrew people. Two men, Eldad and Medad, were supposed to gather with the special group of elders, but somehow didn’t make it. […]